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Advice on landing your first job at Dragonfly

We understand that breaking into security and political risk intelligence and analysis is challenging and highly competitive.

We don’t recruit often and there is always a large number of applicants competing for each position. There are no industry-specific qualifications and the backgrounds of the people who work in our sector are quite varied. To support your application process, we’ve put together a few tips and skill requirements that are critical for success in many of our roles.

Our current vacancies can be found here, alongside other positions at our sister companies. Please note that we do not accept work experience applications or speculative CVs submitted via web forms or general email addresses.


The minimum qualification for a role in our intelligence and analysis team is a 2:1 or equivalent undergraduate degree from a leading university in a relevant subject.  A first-class or equivalent grade for an undergraduate and/or postgraduate degree from a leading university in a relevant subject is a significant advantage.  For analytical roles, relevant subjects are political and social sciences, international relations, history, economics, security studies, regional studies and languages.

Skills and aptitudes

We source, corroborate, analyse, filter, hone and vividly present intelligence that helps our clients advance their agendas and sustain their advantage.  We, therefore, place significant emphasis on professional, high-quality written English skills.

Analysis requires certain skills and aptitudes, including an inquisitive and curious mind, the ability to challenge one’s own assumptions, to be open to alternative possibilities and ideas, attention to detail/facts, and an ability to grasp complex issues and to communicate clearly and engage with others.

Research skills are essential to all our roles.  This includes understanding how to collate, process, assess source reliability and validate large volumes of information, sifting out what is irrelevant.  Our data may be collected from a range of sources including polls, social media, human source reports and detailed primary source material.

Fluent-to-native-level foreign language skills put applicants at a distinct advantage – especially for research and analysis roles with a regional emphasis.  Data analytics, scripting and modelling skills are also highly advantageous.

Work experience

Prior experience in our sector is advantageous, but we do not view having undertaken an internship as a prerequisite for employment. Not everyone can afford to undertake unpaid work experience and we recognise that.

When we select candidates at graduate or postgraduate level, we look at their academic records but also what they have done with their time, and how they have equipped themselves for taking up a position as an analyst. We look for evidence of being a team player with a strong work ethic, maturity and wider life skills.

We seek self-motivated, knowledgeable and enthusiastic people, with a flair for writing and research, and sharp analytical minds capable of original and creative thought. We also seek people that can demonstrate they can be successful in a commercial environment, thrive under pressure, work with clients, have strong interpersonal skills, and endlessly strive for and deliver excellence.

Advantageous prior work experience is therefore wide-ranging: it can typically include working in journalism, think tanks, non-governmental organisations, charity work, consultancy, academia, government, and business-to-business commercial experience.

Tips for applying

When we make a first-round selection for interviews, we draw solely from your CV and cover letter. We look for candidates who succinctly demonstrate the skills, aptitudes, experience and personal qualities detailed in the job description throughout our recruitment process.

When you apply
  • Read the application instructions carefully and follow them precisely.
  • Make sure your CV is relevant and prepared specifically for the role to which you are applying.
  • Use your cover letter to sell yourself and give us a glimpse of who you are.
What to expect during selection

If you are successful in passing the first-round screening, you can expect a multi-stage selection process. This will vary from role to role.  Increasingly we use a video interviewing system for the first round, followed by a face-to-face interview.  There may be second or third-round interviews and in most cases, there will be some written tests, either under controlled conditions or in your own time.

We use interview techniques that focus on competencies.  These typically involve asking for examples of past experience to demonstrate competencies, as well as questions in which the competency is integral to the answer.  Be prepared to give answers that prove where your competencies lie.

Entry-level opportunities

We do not offer unpaid internships or work experience opportunities. Our Research Analyst (RA) positions are paid, full-time and temporary entry-level roles that provide a unique opportunity to gain practical experience and skills.  We offer a limited number of RA roles each year. Working directly within the team, RAs are exposed to a variety of training and get to play an active role in the team’s success.

If you are interested in working for Dragonfly, please check open positions on the FiscalNote Careers page.  You can also follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to get notifications of new vacancies.